Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
Traditional rulers in Delta State have advised the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 governorship election in Delta State, Great Ogboru, to jettison the idea of appealing the judgment of the state’s election tribunal that was delivered last week.
The judgment dismissed his petition and prayer to upturn the election of incumbent Governor of the State, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa.
The monarchs urged Ogboru to bury the hatchet in the interest of unity, peace and progress in Delta State.
They observed that the financial and other resources used for litigation could be channeled to impacting lives.
The traditional rulers also congratulated Okowa on his victory at the tribunal, which they described as an ‘’affirmation of the collective mandate of the people across the state’’.
They urged the governor to continue to run an inclusive government that would further promote the unity, peace and development across the three senatorial districts in Delta State.
The Delta State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Asaba on Friday, September 20, 2019 ruled that Okowa of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) clearly won the March 9, 2019, governorship election in Delta State and upheld his declaration as winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Suleiman Belgore, in a unanimous ruling in Asaba, noted that the tribunal had to dismiss the petition of Ogboru as the learned judges found it grossly incompetent.
In another development, the Chairman of the Delta State Council of Traditional Rulers, HRM, Dr. Emmanuel Efeizomor II, encouraged Ogboru to accept the hand of fellowship offered to him by Governor Okowa.
The governor had offered the olive branch while reacting to his tribunal triumph, asking his opponent to halt the legal tussle and work with his government.
“I appeal to my brother, Ogboru that the time has come to stop fighting. It is time to partner together to do the best that we can for our people.
‘’I appeal that enough is enough. It is time to build Delta State together for the good of our people.
“I ask for the hands of the opposition, because Delta State is for all of us. We cannot do it alone and I want to thank our supporters and all Deltans for praying for us,’’ Okowa said.
Notwithstanding, Ogboru, who has contested the governorship election five times and went to court to challenge the outcomes of these elections since 2003, has hinted that he would appeal the tribunal ruling through his counsel.
The counsel to the petitioners, Mr. Nichols Ichekor, thanked the tribunal for the judgment and indicated that it would be tested.